A COMMUNITY hospital has more beds for patients following a £610,000 overhaul.

A new ward has been created at Keswick Hospital in a move that supporters say leaves the centre with facilities that are unequalled in Cumbria.

Work by health chiefs has been backed substantially by fundraising from the hospital's League of Friends.

The work took months to complete but it's expected to give more patients space to receive their treatment.

Staff at the hospital helped design the extension which added four beds to the unit.

Manger of the ward, Julie Viney, said: "We are very pleased with the new ward as it is a bright and airy space with individual televisions for patients and feedback from staff, patients and families have all been very positive.

“We are also incredibly grateful to the League of Friends for their financial contribution and for their ongoing support for the whole hospital.”

Mike Bulman, Chair of the League of Friends said: “Over the last 25 years we have gone through a lot but now have facilities that are second to none in the county. I want to thank all staff members from right across the hospital site, the builders who have done a tremendous job and the Trust.

“In Keswick, we have a tremendous community spirit and our community fully supports the hospital. Now we want to ensure that our wonderful team can continue with an ambitious future.”

Along with the ward improvements, the hospital kitchen has been overhauled.

The catering staff, some of which have been at the hospital for forty years, joined the celebrations.

Michael Smillie, director of finance, estates and people explained what patients had told him about the new ward saying: “This new development is a testament to the long term commitment that the Trust has to this hospital.

"When I have spoken to the patients on the ward the thing that struck me the most was how delighted they were with the ward.

"The patients really do like the space and of course the first-rate care all our staff provide.

" I’m very impressed by the facilities and the staff here.

“We very much appreciate the League of Friends donations who have financially contributed to the build along with Government funding and money from the Trust’s charitable funds.

"I also want to thank the staff and all those behind the scenes that have been engaged in this. There is one person in particular who deserves a special mention.

"She exemplifies everything about the hospital, the community spirit, the family atmosphere and the care that our staff have.

"That is Sue Robinson who leads the catering team and has been at the hospital for forty years this year.”